Thursday, February 16, 2012

Siding with Child Pornographers

Apparently I am on the side of child pornographers.  This, according to the Canadian public safety minister Vic Toews, is because new legislation in Canada is designed to stop child pornography so Canadians can either:

"stand with us or with the child pornographers."

You heard it right, if you oppose a government bill you are supporting child pornography.  In this case the government bill makes it legal for law enforcement to monitor all phone conversations and internet communication without a warrant.  Because, you know, the police don't lack the tools to catch child pornographers now, you see.  Perhaps it is because judges won't grant warrants when the police have solid grounds to believe someone is creating or distributing child pornography?  Or perhaps it is just that the government wants the option to spy on any person at any time without reason, oversight or a record.

This government boggles my mind.  Generally speaking they toe the conservative (note the small c) line of smaller, less intrusive government.  They want people to fend for themselves without the government interfering and they want to encourage self reliance.  They are also extremely motivated by protecting people's privacy, like when they ended the long form census which provided critical, *anonymous* information to hundreds of government programs and charities across the country.  They are apparently against privacy though when it is actually relevant, as in the case of police monitoring a person's email or private phone calls without any sort of reasonable grounds.

The hypocrisy maddens me almost as much as the actual policies.  Ending the long form census was either just randomly idiotic or a deliberate attempt to reduce the information available such that the government can make any decision they want without being contradicted by facts; depends on how conspiratorial you feel.  This new bill is about giving law enforcement information and denying it to everybody else; the common thread here is the government deciding that it gets to know everything that happens and nobody else does.  It is time for them to admit that they aren't for or against privacy but rather just looking to increase government power in any way they can and are willing to use loaded terms like privacy and child pornography to justify it.

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